Alex Ferguson tips Manchester United winger Ryan Giggs to join Premier League's over-40s club


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The Independent Football

Sir Alex Ferguson has tipped Ryan Giggs to join the Premier League's exclusive over-40s club.

Giggs is currently preparing to captain Team GB at the Olympics before returning to Manchester United, for whom he has signed on for another year.

Yet Ferguson does not necessarily think it will be the veteran Welshman's last.

Currently 38, if Giggs did keep going for a further two seasons, it would take him beyond his 40th birthday, equalling the feat of, amongst others, former United team-mates Teddy Sheringham and Edwin van der Sar.

Ferguson said: "Ryan can play for another year after this."

Rio Ferdinand might not go on as long as either.

However, after a turbulent summer for the central defender, Ferguson has underlined his importance to the United camp, even if he feels Ferdinand's England days are at an end.

"I don't think so," said Ferguson, when asked if he thought Ferdinand would ever feature for his country again.

"It's not on his agenda either. He wants to ensure he's fit for us.

"As a centre-back, if you stay fit and look after yourself you should be playing until you are 37."

In a summer when Kenny Dalglish and old mate Harry Redknapp - "when England turned to Roy I thought Harry would have a problem" said Ferguson - lost their jobs, Ferguson keeps going.

Yet even the ageless Scot has been forced to apply the brakes following a serious nose bleed he suffered in Glasgow two months ago that has been blamed on too much flying.

"I took too many flights that week," said Ferguson.

"It was a bit silly to be flying as much as I did. Belfast, Berlin, Newcastle, Manchester, Belfast, Manchester, up to Glasgow. It was seven flights in five days.

"If you do a straight 12-hour flight to South Africa and back there wouldn't have been the same problem. But I was going up and down all the time.

"It's not as if it was anything to do with my heart but when the club doctor explained what he thought it seemed reasonable.

"We are all vulnerable to age aren't we? It doesn't come without penalties.

"Maybe that was a way of telling me to slow down a bit in terms of travelling."

Ferguson laughed when it was suggested someone who is regarded as indestructible due to his phenomenal workload had shown a normal human trait.

"Not many people will agree with you there," he said.

Nevertheless, it will be interesting to see how Ferguson handles the massive demands being placed on him over the coming months as he looks to rip the Premier League title back from Manchester City.

"People may say Manchester City are the team to beat but I don't agree," said Ferguson.

"We are the team to beat because of the way we react and the way we have bounced back from losing the league in the past. We will be strong this season."